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SPAWNews, October, 2002

Wendy Dager, Editor

For questions, contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please e-mail the editor of



Check out October's SPAWN Member Area News and Market Update. Go to the first page of

the site, and click on the Visit Member Area button.

You will be asked to log in. All members have received their September login ID and password.

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- GUEST ARTICLE: October is Self-Promotion Month


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As of this month, I have stepped down as editor of SPAWNews. My literary consulting and editing business has expanded and I have found it increasingly difficult to take on any outside work, or even find enough time to write my own books. I couldn't leave, however, without knowing that there was someone available who could do an excellent job of editing our online newsletter.

Let me introduce your new editor, Wendy Dager. I know how good she is because she has handled the job as editor of SPAWNews before, when it was the paper version that was mailed to members and subscribers every month.

Wendy has been a SPAWN member for 3 years and is completely familiar with the organization. As a professional freelance nonfiction writer, she has worked in areas as diverse as greeting cards, public relations, corporate newsletters, children's educational videos and feature articles. Her informational articles "Creating Greeting Cards" and "Writing the Newspaper Opinion Article" appeared as chapters in several editions of "The Writer's Handbook." She is a biweekly opinion columnist for the Ventura County Star newspaper, and is currently seeking an agent for her novel, "I Murdered the PTA," a humorous mystery. She lives in Simi Valley, California with her husband and their two daughters.

I leave you in Wendy's highly capable hands.

Best wishes,

Mary Embree

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When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. Not too many people get to enjoy the realization of a childhood dream, and I know I am darn lucky. Still, the biggest problem with being a child is that one's dreams are usually rainbow-colored, chocolate-flavored, flower-scented whirlwinds of naiveté. Adulthood generally cures us of childhood and its giddy conceptions. But the good news is that even though our dreams are now imbued with a strong sense of reality-treating our writing, publishing, and art as a business; dealing with editors and the general public; understanding the various marketplaces-we are fortunate to have organizations such as SPAWN to help us pursue of our goals. My hope is that SPAWNews will continue to inform, entertain and provide you with the tools to achieve your successes. Please let me know how this publication can best serve you. Any questions, comments, or submissions are very welcome.

--Wendy Dager

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The October Market Update is brimming with excitement and inspiration for writers at any stage of their passion. To date, we've reported changes relating to over 125 publications. We've brought you information about nearly 50 Internet resources

for writers and we've interviewed over 25 writers, editors and publishers. All back issues of the Market Update are available in the Member's Only area of the SPAWN Web site


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This month's SPAWN Market Update (found in the Member's Only area of the SPAWN Web site) is overflowing with 11 pages of information and resources for writers/authors. This month we're highlighting writing opportunities for parents. We also feature two working writers and two publishers. Here's an excerpt from my interview with William Burns, publisher at Resources Publishing, Inc.

"We look for people who are qualified to write what they write, and who are passionate enough about their topic to make presentations about it at conferences and other gatherings." (Again, we are reminded that authors must be willing to participate in marketing his/her book).

In my interview with Jennifer Elliott Bunting, Tilbury House Publishers, she talks about targeting your query. (Keep in mind that at Tilbury House, they publish mostly regional nonfiction and children's books.)

"We get a dozen or more queries a day, and most of them are wildly unsuitable (the offer of an autobiography of a broken marriage to country singer Travis Tritt came in last week!), showing that the hopeful authors have not done their homework. As a small company, we need to build on what we've done before, so approaching us with material

that is similar (but, of course, different) to what we've published before is a more likely bet than asking us to go off in a completely new direction."

--Patricia Fry

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I just read your Market Update - thanks for introducing me to "Brians' List of Errors." It is one of the most fun websites I have ever seen!! I put it in my Favorites.

This is the most entertaining website I have seen in ages. I love it. I could not stop going back again and again to the list of different errors. Because I am a true writer nerd, it made me laugh. I so enjoy this kind of thing. I'm so glad you pass these items on to those of us who would never find them on our own. The 'affect' and 'effect' battle, in particular, seems to rage daily in every business I've ever worked in -- including at newspapers, where people should know better. It will be great to have Brians' site to inject into the fray the next time.


As a writer-nerd child, I loved reading the dictionary. But other kids thought that socially unacceptable and they would laugh at me. So I became a closet dictionary reader. Every time I would hear people coming, I'd slam the dictionary shut so no one would catch me reading it. Now, as an adult writer nerd, I no longer care what people think, and I read the dictionary right in public all the time. Sometimes out loud. So naturally, Brians' site is a natural for me."

--Kathy S., SPAWN member

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Talk it Up

By Patricia Fry

In August, we wrote about the promotional article. Today's column focuses on the promotional speech.

You can't sell a book that no one knows about. You won't get writing jobs unless people are aware of your services. One way to spread the word is to go out and talk about it.

I tell authors, "Talk about your book everywhere you go." Debbie Puente, author of "Elegantly Easy Crème Brulee and other Custard Desserts," does this and regularly makes sales. She says, "I sell books at the ball park, the grocery store... Everywhere I go, I sell books."

A writer/author should also be relatively comfortable as a public speaker. I've sold many books and have received great exposure from my numerous public speaking presentations. I speak at civic club and organization meetings, before elder hostel groups and in public schools. I've spoken before numerous writing/publishing groups and I was keynote speaker at officer training for Toastmasters a few years ago. And then there are book signings. Sometimes authors are required to give informal presentations.

If public speaking gives you noodle knees and sweaty palms, I recommend:.

  • Join a Toastmasters Club. for the one nearest you.
  • Join an organization of your choice and gain speaking experience by participating.
  • Get involved with a storytelling group.
  • Hire a voice coach. (Generally listed under "music teachers" in the Yellow Pages)
  • Observe other speakers. Note what techniques work and which ones don't.
  • Take on leadership roles at work.
  • Find a mentor-someone who's speaking abilities you admire.

Here are some specific tips to get your started:

Speak out.

Many inexperienced orators speak too softly or they allow their voices to drop toward the end of their sentences. Whether addressing a large audience or a small group, always speak so that you can be heard even in the back of the room.

Repeat audience questions.

When someone asks a question during your presentation, always repeat it before answering it. This ensures that everyone hears it.

Make eye contact.

Move your attention around the room as you speak, making eye contact with each person

Don't apologize.

Avoid sabotaging your presentation by making excuses for not being well prepared or for poor speaking skills. Stand tall, appear self-assured and you will gain the confidence of the audience.

Use vocal variety.

Make your talks more enjoyable by using an assortment of vocal tones and pitches. If you need help developing vocal variety, practice reading to children.

Eliminate non-words.

Inexperienced speakers unconsciously use so many filler words that Toastmasters have an "ah counter" at every meeting. This person counts the number of filler words members use during the meeting. Filler words include uh, ah, um, er. We can only eradicate filler words when we become aware of them.

Stop poor speaking habits.

Rid your vocabulary of stagnant verbiage. Break yourself of using those mundane phrases you like to repeat, such as, "yada, yada, yada" or "know what I mean?" Likewise, watch the overuse of words like "really," "clearly" and so forth.

Be prepared.

You will be more at ease if you know what to expect. Find out if there will be a podium or microphone for your use. How many people do they expect? How will the room be set up? Have your props organized so there will be no annoying fumbling during your presentation.

Know your audience.

And gear your speech to the needs and interests of this particular audience. When I speak on local history, I give a completely different talk to students at local elementary schools than I do when addressing civic organizations or historic society members.

Anyone can get up in front of an audience and speak. How well you do it is what counts.

--Patricia Fry Excerpted from Patricia Fry's new eBook, "The Successful Writer's Handbook" available at the SPAWN eBook store. 131 pages, $9.95.

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Patricia Fry was interviewed recently by Brian Scott at Freelance Writing, a Web site for today's working writer. To read the interview along with those of other writers/authors, go to

Russell Spencer will present a workshop at the Ventura College Community Education Writer's Workshop on Saturday, October 12. Russ' topic will be "Turning your interests into a nonfiction book and selling it." This course features methods of determining the marketability of your idea, and then turning your work into a marketable manuscript. Self-publishing, printing, marketing and distribution options will be explained. Russ has several self-published books which are currently available through major bookstores.

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Writer's Digest magazine, your #1 source for writing tips, advice, and inspiration, has once again teamed up with The American Screenwriters Association to bring you the 2003 International Screenplay Competition. For more details and to download an entry form, visit

The Grand Prize Winner will also receive the Mick Caswell Award for Screenplay Excellence, to be awarded during the 2003 Selling to Hollywood International Screenwriters Conference, as well as free conference registration and four days and

three nights at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles.

Other prizes include:

1st Place -- $2,500 cash

2nd Place -- $1,000 cash

3rd Place -- $500 cash

4th Place -- $250 cash

5th Place -- $100 cash

Plus, the names and log lines of all six winners will be announced to the media and posted at and Winners will also receive a free one-year membership in the American Screenwriters Association and a free one-year subscription to WD.

Entry deadline is October 15, 2002.

The Midwest Independent Publishers Association announces the Call for Entries in its 12th AND 13th Book Awards competition. Publishers in the following states are eligible: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. To be eligible for the 12th Book Awards, a book must have a 2001 copyright. For the 13th Book Awards, the copyright date is 2002.For more information, visit or email

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Ventura College Community Education Writer's Workshop, Ventura, CA, Saturdays, September 14 through October 26. Workshops include: Exciting Characters, Intriguing Plots, My Stories - Our Stories, Creating Time to Write, Once Upon a Lap -Writing Children's Picture Books and Your Own Voice: Cultivating the Writer in You. The cost of each workshop is $45.00 or any three for $125.00. For registration forms call

(805) 654-6451, Class code ZW106.

Writers and Readers Conference, Kansas City, MO October 3-5. FMI contact Maple Woods Community College, 2601 NE Berry Rd., Kansas City, MO 64156. 816/437-3011. E-mail:

Take your writing career to the next level by attending a seminar co-sponsored by UCI and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Joseph Wambaugh will be the guest speaker and the seminar includes 12 panel discussions on such topics as attracting a literary agent, narrative techniques, book proposals, health and self-help, travel, specialty magazines, and turning true stories into articles and books. Panel members include literary agent Julia Castiglia; Martin J. Smith, senior editor, Los Angeles Times Magazine; travel writer David Lansing of National Geographic; Desert Magazine editor Henry Fenwick, formerly editor of Modern Maturity; award-winning short story writer Ron Carlson; Kit Rachlis of LA Magazine; and Nicole Dorsey, West Coast editor of Fitness Magazine. The seminar will be held at the University of California at Irvine on Saturday, October 5, 2002 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:40 p.m. Registration in advance is $135. The fee is $150 if you register at the door. For information, call 949-824-5414 (registration no. 00199, course no. English 828.1). For more information:

Free Screenwriting Spectacular on October 6 at The Screenwriters Group, 1803 W. Byron, Chicago, IL 60613. The event includes two free screenwriting seminars: Writing Scenes and Dialog 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Selling Screenplays From Chicago, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The featured speaker is Dan Decker, author of "Anatomy of a Screenplay." Space is limited so call now to reserve your space: (773) 665-8500.

Pen USA, The International Writers' Association, meets in Santa Barbara for the first time to establish a regional chapter. The meeting will be held October 9, 2002 at 7:30 pm at Borders at 900 State Street. For further information contact Nancy Mills at 805-698-3555 or email:

Doran William Cannon's Writing Academy(tm) presents: A Writer's Retreat

at the Circle (c) Writing Ranch, Santa Barbara, CA, Friday, October 11- Monday, October 14 (Four days, three nights) with Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member Doran William Cannon. Limited to six serious writers. $650 (2 discount scholarships available based on modest income). For more information, email:

The seventh annual SPAN Publishing College and Trade Show will introduce attendees to numerous marketing and promotional concepts designed to increase their income. Dubbed "BookPublish 2002," it will also explore Print-on-Demand and traditional book manufacturing. This conference for authors, independent presses, and self-publishers, will take place in Denver, Colorado, October 18-20 at the Denver Marriott Southeast.

Twenty-six best-selling authors and independent publishing experts will speak, and industry suppliers will serve on informative panels and also answer individual attendees' questions at the Trade Show exhibit. Extraordinary networking opportunities await you at the focused discussion luncheon roundtables. The Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN) is the second largest such nonprofit organization in the world. For details about the College visit http// or call 719-395-4790 for a free brochure. Special prices now available.

The Creativity Workshop Studio is a ten-minute walk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Creativity Workshops consist of Creative Writing, Drawing, Storytelling, and Personal Memoir.

Fall 2002 Calendar:

October 19 - 20, 2002

2 day weekend workshops (8 contact hours)

Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Tuition Fee: $300

November 9, 10, 11 (Veteran's Day) and 12 (16 contact hours)

Extensive 4 day workshop.

Thursday through Sunday, 4 to 8 PM

Tuition Fee: $600

The 2002 Screenwriting Expo, the largest screenwriting conference and trade show ever held, will be taking place November 16th and 17th at the L.A. Convention Center. For $49.95 the Expo brings you over 130 seminars, workshops, and panels, Q&A's and book signings with prestigious guests of honor, An Expo Pitch Fest sponsored by Scr(i)pt magazine, a screenplay contest, a discount trade show, a screenwriting auction, and the first-ever screenwriting tournament. Participants include Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile), Harlan Ellison, David Goyer (Blade, Dark City), Richard Matheson (The Twilight Zone, Duel), Scott Rosenberg (Spider Man, Armageddon), Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost, Jacob's Ladder), and David O. Russell (Three Kings, Flirting With Disaster). For more information, visit

or call (323) 957-1405.

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October Is Self Promotion Month (all rights reserved)

Founded by Debbie Allen  

This special event was created out of the discovery that most people do not feel comfortable actively promoting themselves - nearly 80% of our world's population doesn't GET IT.

Why is that?

Most people do not feel comfortable with the concept because they feel that they will appear boastful or pushy. Most people were raised with the belief that it is not polite to talk about oneself, therefore holding themselves back from numerous missed opportunities. In fact, what they fear the most is not lost opportunities, but the fear of REJECTION!

Now let's think about this ...

Not promoting yourself goes against the grain of all marketing and sales concepts! Doesn't it? If you don't promote, how will others know what you have to offer? And how can you ever be truly successful?

Let me ask you this ...

Are you passionate about what you do? Are you the expert in your field? Do you help others to receive satisfaction with your products and/or services? Do you receive wonderful testimonials from your customers and shameless fans? Sure you do!

Therefore, you must tell as many people as you can about how and why you can help them. Wouldn't you like to help more people and create more satisfied customers from your products and services? If you help them, they will help you in return by supporting your success.

Are you getting it yet? ...

If so, you must tell everyone about it, and from the rooftops shout it!

Getting it RIGHT ...

Tell people what you do in a HELPFUL manner - not a self-serving manner. Don't promote just to make the sale. If you truly care about helping your customers and want to help more prospective customers, you must learn how to be a successful self-promoter - NOT a pushy sales person. Everyone enjoys BUYING things, but no one enjoys being SOLD.

5 BIG tips to developing shamefully successful self-promotion:  

1. Develop a strong belief system.

Work on your personal growth as much, if not more than, your professional growth. This will help you to create better customer service, increase your self-esteem and personal success.

2. Seek out and act upon opportunities everyday.

Sometimes the most important strategies appear to be so simple we tend to ignore them. Keep your eyes open and your laser beam focus tuned in.

3. Build a strongly connected group of strategic alliances.

Co-market and connect with other businesses that have the same core customer base. Promote others like crazy - even promote your competition.

4. Ask for referrals and testimonials.

Refer others too - become a referral source. Use testimonials from your shameless fans in all your marketing materials.

5. Take your expertise to a higher level.

Discover the EXPERT within yourself by becoming a life-long learner. Absorb as much information as you possibly can about your chosen career. Develop an award-winning

portfolio that is built around your expertise. Promote your expertise to the media in print, radio and TV.

Since discovering the science of self-promotion, I have helped people from around the globe learn the art of successful self-promotion. By sharing these concepts, it has opened the eyes and ears of thousands that now accept a new belief system. A belief system that has turned around many businesses and helped to build many careers. This was and still is, the most incredible rewarding experience of writing my book Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters.

If you have not yet read the book, and do not know what thousands of others have learned, you may begin by downloading a free chapter of the book at

Much shameless success, Debbie Allen

October is Self-Promotion Month!

Founder Debbie Allen would like to offer you a FREE chapter of her book, Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters and a free electronic newsletter to help you build your business with successful self-promotion.


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October, 2002 SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P.O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002-2653


Telephone & Fax: 805-646-3045

Mary Embree


Wendy Dager

SPAWNews Editor, Membership and Database Coordinator


Virginia Lawrence

SPAWN Webmaster


Advisory Council

Carol Doering

Dallas Glenn

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Jim Lane


Marcia Grad-Powers


Melvin Powers


Dan Poynter

Author, Publisher

Jean Wade


Board of Directors

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant

Founder of SPAWN

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

President of SPAWN

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard

Treasurer of SPAWN

Frances Halpern

Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host

Marsha Karpeles

Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant


To promote the literary arts and provide education, information, resources and a supportive networking environment for artists, writers, and other creative people interested in the publishing process.

Submission Guidelines

Members and Nonmembers: Please send your press releases, seminar information, and books for review to Wendy Dager, Editor, SPAWNews, P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653 or email

SPAWN membership dues are $45 per year; spouses, half-price. Make your check payable to SPAWN and mail to P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653. Or click on Member Application to fill out the secure online form and pay your dues by credit card.

SPAWNews, Member Directory and Web site listings, and discounts for SPAWN events are included in membership.

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P. O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002-2653



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